Thrace & Orestiada: General Information
Thrace is located in the northeast section of Greece, bordering with Bulgaria to the north and Turkey to the east. It covers an area of 8.578 km2 and its population comes up to 361.208 citizens. Thrace, together with East Macedonia, comprises a special administrative district of Greece, with capital the city of Komotini. It consists of three prefectures: Evros, Rodopi and Xanthi with capitals Alexandroupolis, Komotini and Xanthi, respectively. Orestiada, Didimotixo, Soufli, Ferres, Iasmos and Sappes are ranked to be among the most important towns of Thrace. Lastly, Samothrace, one of the most beautiful islands of North-East Aegean, belongs administratively in the prefecture of Evros.
During the recent past, the principal sectors of economy in the district were agriculture and stock farming. However, in the last years, noticeable developments of industry, practical trade and also tourism is observed. Apart from this, due to its crucial geographical position, Thrace has become “gateway” of Europe to Turkey and near East, and also an important overland communication junction to the Central Balkans and the countries of Euxine Pontus. These evolutions result in gradual development of the district and rise in the standard of living and educational status of its citizens.
Important archaeological sites are located in Thrace (Avdira, Maronia, Mesembria, Samothrace etc.), and also wetlands of great importance, such as the delta of rivers Nestos and Evros and the lagoon of Vistonida, which are protected through international Laws and Treaties. One of the last refuges for predatory birds, the famed forest reserve of Dadia is also located in Thrace.
Orestiada is the northernmost city of Greece. Its distance from river Evros is almost 2km in straight line, which is the natural border between Greece and Turkey. Its distance from Andrianoupolis is 26,5 km and from the Greek-Turkish-Bulgarian borders 64 km.
Historically, Orestiada was founded in 1923, after the Treaty of Lausanne, and the initial citizens were refugees from Karagats and Andrianoupolis. Orestiada counts population of 18.426 citizens according to 2011 census. It has an altitude of 40 m above sea level and its distance from the capital of the prefecture, Alexandroupolis, is 114 km, from Thessaloniki is 406 km and from Athens 904 km.
Orestiada is characterized by its modern street plan and the intense economic activity. Its area is considered as one of the most fertile and productive districts of Greece with countryside that is distinguished for its beauty and richness.